17 Beautiful Beach Plants for Coastal Living

17 Beautiful Beach Plants for Coastal Living

We often get asked what beach plants do well in a coastal situation. 

Having just returned from a week on the southern Oregon coast, I had the time and opportunity to see for myself, and am happy to share some good options. 

Here in western Oregon we have what is usually referred to as a Mediterranean climate, meaning mild winters and warm, dry summers. 

As any gardener here knows, the possibilities to grow interesting, unique, and fabulous plants here are nearly endless. On the coast, there are three additional important factors to keep in mind that might make beach plants and coastal gardening challenging. 

To my mind, these factors render coastal conditions even truer Mediterranean than our more forgiving inland version.


The three factors of the coastal challenge: High, frequent winds


1. High and frequent winds

2. Often sandy, fast-draining soils

3. Salt – both in the air, and often in the groundwater


Because of the less extreme temperature fluctuations near large bodies of water, you can also often push your boundaries with beach plants a little more than you can farther inland, which is always fun! 🙂 As a result of this, you will, for example, see Phormiums of a size you hardly ever see in Portland. 

And, I bet coastal gardeners have never even heard of a “Phormium winter”, like we experience here, from time to time, when all our lovingly tended New Zealand flax dies.


phormium plants blowing in the beach wind


1. Phormiums

This Phormium is in bloom, which is another feature we don’t often see in Portland. And, it is of an entirely different proportion than their inland brothers and sisters.



Escallonia flowers on the beach


2. Escallonia

The windy coastal conditions creates a need for screening. Here, the evergreen density of Escallonia is put to work to create shelter from the howling gales and breezy barrages so often experienced on seaside properties.



Bergenia, Agapanthus, Sedums, Zauschneria, Cistus beach coastal garden living


3. Climbing Roses, Agapanthus, Sedums, Zauschneria, Cistus

Climbing roses, Bergenia, Agapanthus, Sedums, Zauschneria, Cistus and ornamental grasses accompany the dark foliage of the ornamental cherries anchoring this coastal cottage garden.



flowers on sidewalk beach town coastal living


4. Leucadendron

There is a decidedly California flair over this seaside, streetside garden – Leucadendron, Parahebe perfoliata, Phormium, ornamental grasses, Ilex, etc. The large Rhododendrons in the background give a nod to a more traditional Oregon plant palette.



Hebes beach plants coastal breeze


5. Hebes

Hebes is a great, popular alternative – here seen with a wind whipped Pine. The general rule of thumb when it comes to Hebe varieties is that the smaller the leaf, the hardier they are.



evergreen blossoms on the oregon coast


6. Coastal Hebes

And, since you can push the envelope in milder coastal climates, you can get away with using the showier, larger-leaved varieties. Hebes are evergreen and bloom for a long time, with white, pink, or purple blossoms and are quintessential west coach beach plants.



Agapanthus flowers in bloom on the beach


7. Erigeron and Agapanthus

Erigeron is a tough, pretty, mounding plant that blooms for a long time with small, daisy-like flowers. Here placed in front of a row of Agapanthus.



succulents on the beach thrive well


8. Succulents

Succulents are a fantastic option! Agaves, Sedum, and Sempervivum all perform fantastically. Here is the hot pink Delosperma planted with pink Seathrift (Armeria) that has mostly finished blooming.



succulents on the side of a rock on the beach


9. Sedums and Sempervivums

These incredibly exposed wild succulents were growing on a vertical rock face out in the ocean. I snapped the photo during low tide. I wouldn’t have been able to go near it otherwise. These are a mix of Sedums and Sempervivums.



eucalyptus thrives in wet beach environments


10. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus offers a perfect, evergreen tree for fast-draining soils. The leaves might turn red when heat stressed.



Agapanthus beach plants beautiful coastal living


11. Junipers

Conifers often do well on the coast. Junipers, Pines and Cypresses are common. Here is the free-form silhouette of a conifer paired with a more formally clipped broadleaf evergreen shrub, and the sky blue rounds of the Agapanthus.



pines on the beach


12. Exposed Pines

These exposed Pines put up a constant battle against the Western winds of the Pacific Ocean. As you can see, wind is a major factor in seaside gardens. Use the lee side of your house to your advantage, to cultivate your less sturdy plants.



Echium is a great plant that can thrive on the beach


13. Echium

The dramatic foliage of an Echium is a great attribute to any garden, but be sure to put it in a less windy spot, to ensure its towering flowers do not collapse.



rosemary does remarkably well on the coast


14. Rosemary

Rosemary does phenomenally well on the coast. After all, it is a Mediterranean plant in a very Mediterranean climate.



beautiful hydrangeas do great on the coast


15. Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas do great on the coast. This one is on the lee side of a building with an eastern exposure, bu. Normally this would be a great spot for a Hydrangea, but this one is looking rather sad. Hydrangeas are thirsty plants, and love ample moisture. If you plant them in fast draining soils, you need to provide them enough water to look their best. You can see from the crispy mopheads that it’s not entirely happy. 🙁



Cordyline Astralis is a california beach plant that exists in southern oregon


16. Cordyline Australis

You can tell that these photos are from the southern Oregon coast, as some of the plants are decidedly Californian in stature. Here are a couple of mature Cordyline Australis – the likes of which you may not readily see on the northern coast. Yuccas might be a good alternative in those colder areas.

Roses, Crocosmias, Agastache, Ceanothus, Achillea, Salal, Lavender, Santolina, Cannas, Poppies, … the list of tough, excellent, salt-tolerant plants is a long one. You can find an excellent list here. Hopefully this post will get you some ideas of what might work where you are. And, we are of course always available to answer more questions. Just stop by our Portland Nursery in the Raleigh Hills neighborhood.



california poppies look beautiful on this waterfront property


17. California Poppies

A little past their prime, but still lovely, tough-as-nails California poppies adorn the seaside landscape. It doesn’t get much better than that!


The Secret to a Pretty Garden: Color

The Secret to a Pretty Garden: Color

Amend your existing garden with color


The most successful pretty garden designs incorporate and make the best of their settings. Amending an existing design with garden color requires a healthy dose of sensitivity to existing conditions, an eye for plant health, and the ability to capitalize on inherent strong points and dominant features that are already in place. But, although there is plenty of room for educated speculation, there is one area of the design package that is nearly impossible to be certain of during the leafless winter and spring months, and that is color. A designer with good plant knowledge can usually discern certain clues through the shape, size and bark of deciduous trees and shrubs, but other than that – your guess is as good as just about anyone else’s.


Here are a few progress shots from the planting of a pretty garden that was re-worked this past spring, before the leaves opened. The existing plant palette was rather traditional NW, with lots of natives, and mature trees – which made the task a lot easier!


The biggest surprises in terms of color came when the Japanese maples opened up, and we are happy to say that it all worked out beautifully.  The plant list for the redesign contained lots of additional natives, such as our native Huckleberry, (Vaccinium ovatum) Sword ferns (Polystichum munitum), Oregon grape (Mahonia), Kinnikinnick, etc., but also a few exotics that work well in woodland settings – Japanese Forest grass (Hakonechloa), Fatsia japonica, and Tassel ferns (Polystichum polyblepharum).



It is shaping up rather nicely, wouldn’t you say?



The fine, evergreen foliar texture of the Huckleberry, has red new growth that echoes the existing Japanese maples. Drifts of Japanese Forest grass and blue Sedge provides bright spots of color against the massive tree trunks.



A new waterfall was added. The weepy habit of the grasses is the plant world’s formal nod to the watery rapids.


Color can be a challenge when adding to existing landscapes during winter, without the guidance provided by the then dormant plants. Landscape design during summer and fall involve a lot less guesswork, in terms of getting the garden color just right. 


Growing a backyard bouquet: a guide to fresh cut flowers

Fresh cut flowers add color, cheer, and a sweet aroma to your pretty garden.  To have fresh cut flowers straight from your own garden throughout the blooming seasons takes planning, but it is worth the investment.  Flower bouquets are the perfect gift for special occasions or to lift the spirits of someone who needs some cheer. 

Every Portland landscape has the potential to be a breathtaking scene of color and texture. Our climate allows for lush greens and bright colors to fill the yard all year long. We live in the GREAT Northwest! However for some, choosing which flowers to fill a yard can be a little overwhelming. The “problem” is that we have so many great plants to choose from!

Think about colors, textures, blooming seasons, and smells. 

Below is a comprehensive list of trees, shrubs and perennials that are excellent as cut flowers.  It is possible to have fresh flowers in a Portland landscape all summer long when you incorporate several of the plants listed below.


Cercis Redbud

Cercis Redbud trees yield absolutely beautiful flowers



Cercis Redbud

Cornus Dogwood

Crataegus Hawthorn

Forsythia Forsythia

Prunus Flowering Cherry

Salix Willow

Syringa Lilac



Berberis Barberry

The Berberis Barberry produces this vibrant red color. Isn’t it beautiful? Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia



Berberis Barberry

Buddleia Butterfly Bush

Callicarpa Beautyberry

Caryopteris Bluebeard

Cornus Red osier Dogwood

Corylus Walking Stick

Cotinus Smokebush

Exochorda Pearlbush

Hamamelis Witch Hazel

Hydrangea Hydrangea

Ilex Winterberry

Salix Willow

Sympor. Snowberry

Syringa Lilac

Rosa Rose



Achillea Yarrow

Achillea Yarrow




Achillea Yarrow

Aconitum Monks Hood

Agapanthus Lily of the Valley

Agastache Hyssop

Alcea Hollyhock

Alchemilla Lady’s Mantle

Alstromeria Mugwort

Anemone Anemone

Aquilegia Columbine

Artemiesia Mugwort

Aster Aster

Astilbe Astilbe

Astrantia Masterwort

Baptisia False Indigo

Boltonia False Starwort

Catanache Cupids Dart

Centaurea Bachelors Button

Centranthus Red Valerian

Chrysanthemums Mums

Campanula Cup and Saucer

Coreopsis Tickseed

Crocosmia Crocosmia

Delphinium Larkspur

Dianthus Pinks

Dicentra Bleeding Heart

Digitalis Foxglove

Doronicum Leopards Bane

Echinacea Cone Flower

Echinops Globe Thistle

Engeron Flea Bane

Eryngium Sea Holly

Eupatoium Mist Flower

Euphorbia Spurge

Gaillardia Blanket Flower

Gaura Windflower

Geum Lady Stratheden

Gypsophilia Babys Breath

Helenium Helen’s Flower

Helianthus Sun Flower

Heliopsis Ox eyed Daisy

Helleborus Lenten Rose


These beauties flower early in the Spring, and their nodding blooms are sublimely beautiful. A few of our favorite varieties for Portland landscaping are Ivory Prince, Pink Frost, Double Queen & Royal Heritage.

Heuchera Coral Bells

Hosta Hosta

Iris Iris

Jean May Camellia

Jean May Camellia

This Camellia has soft pink flowers and deep green glossy leaves. It is a brilliant flowering shrub that can be used as a backdrop in landscaping or as a hedge/screen


Knautia Knautia

Lavendula Lavender

Leucanthemum Shasta Daisy 



This is a classic shasta daisy that doesn’t need staking and is generally trouble free. It offers a lovely pop of white and is such a happy flower!

Liatris Gayfeather

Lilium Lily

Limonium Statice

Lupinus Lupine

Malva Mallow

Monarda Bee Balm

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)



With its glossy leaves and cheery flower clusters, Little Linda is a great addition to any landscape! It is a dwarf plant reaching its maximum size at just 3’ x 3’ making it easy to use in smaller residential lots.


Nepeta Catmint

Papaver Poppy

Penstemon Beards Tongue

Peony Peony

Perovskia Russian Sage

Platycodon Balloon Flower

Phlox Phlox

Physostegia Dragons Head

Rudbeckia Black Eyed Susan

Ruta Rue

Salvia Flowering Sage

Scabiosa Pincushion Flower

Solidago Golden Rod

Stokesia Stokes Aster

Thalictrum Meadow Rue

Trollius Globe Flower

Veronica Veronica

Zanteaeschia Calla Lily

Garden Planning: A List of Plants For Wet and Dry Environments

Garden Planning: A List of Plants For Wet and Dry Environments

Garden planning is an important thing to do. Haphazardly throwing plants, trees, and shrubs together without a well-informed plan can be a recipe for disaster.

What makes planning even more of a challenge is when you live in a unique climate. How could you know what types of plants will thrive where you live versus where someone else does?

In the beautiful Pacific Northwest that we call home, we frequently receive questions about plants that do well in moist environments. For other parts of the country, however, we realize you might be faced with a different set of challenges. Consider this a comprehensive list to expedite your garden planning process, no matter what type of conditions you might live in. We carry many of these in our Portland Nursery and Garden Center in the Raleigh Hills Neighborhood.

Jump Ahead

Plants for Wet Areas

Plants for Coastal Environments

Drought Resistant Plants


Plants for Wet Areas 


Garden Planning with Wet Soil Plants


The following is a comprehensive list of trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses and all-around wet soil plants. Most every Portland landscape has need for a few plants that thrive in wet soil and can be used when garden planning. Here are tons to choose from!


Trees for Wet Areas



Acer Rubrum Red Maple


Acer rubrum Red Maple

Acer saccharinum Silver Maple

Alnus Alder

Betula nigra River Birch

Fraxinus latifolia Oregon Ash

Larix Larch

Liquidamber stryaciflua Sweetgum

Lirodendron Tulip Tree

Malus Crabapple

Magnolia virginiana Sweet Bay

Metasequoia glyptostoboides Dawn Redwood

Nyssa slyvantica Sourgum

Picea sitchensis Sitka Spruce

Platanus Poplar

Quercus bicolor Swamp White Oak

Quercus palustris Pin Oak

Salix Willow

Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress

Thuja plicata Western Red Cedar


Shrubs For Wet Areas


Andromeda Polifolia - Bog Rosemary

Andromeda Polifolia – Bog Rosemary


Andromeda polifolia Bog Rosemary

Ardisia japonica Japanese Ardisia

Aronia arbutifolia Chokeberry

Calycanthus Spice Bush

Chaenomeles Flowering Quince

Cornus stolonifera Red-Osier Dogwood

Ilex glabra Inkberry

Ilex virginica Sweetspire

Leucothoe fontanesiana Drooping Leucothoe

Lindera benzoin Spice Bush

Lonicera involucrate Twinberry

Myrica pensylvanica Bayberry

Rosa palustris Swamp Rose

Salix Shrub Willow

Sambucus Canadensis Red Elderberry

Spirea douglasii Douglas Spirea

Syphoricarpus orbiculatas CoralBerry

Viburnum opulus Snowball Bush

Viburnum trilobum Cranberry Bush


Perennials For Wet Areas


Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard

Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard


Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard

Aster novae-angliae New England Aster

Astilbe Astilbe

Bellis pernnis English Daisy

Caltha palustris Marsh Marigold

Camassia Camas Lily

Canna Canna Lily

Chelone Turtlehead

Cimicifuga Bugbane

Dicentra Formosa Bleeding Heart

Eupatorium maculatum Joe-Pye Weed

Filapendula Meadow sweet

Gunnera Dinosaur Food

Iris Iris

Lilium canadense Canada Lily

Lysimachia Loosestrife

Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Lobelia

Mentha Mint

Mimulus Monkey Flower

Monarda Bee Balm

Mysosotis Forget-me-not

Polygonatum Solomans Seal

Primula japonica Japanese Primrose

Rodgersia Rodgersia

Schizostylis Kafir Lily

Sisyrichium Blue-eyed Grass

Tolmiea menziesii Piggyback Plant

Trollius Globeflower

Viola Violet

Zantedeschia Calla Lily


Grasses For Wet Areas


Acorus gramineus Japanese Sweet Flag

Acorus gramineus Japanese Sweet Flag
Image courtesy of Monrovia


Acorus gramineus Japanese Sweet Flag

Calamagrostis Feather Reed Grass

Carex Sedges

Chasmanthium latifolium Northern Sea Oats

Deschampsia Tufted Hair Grass

Juncus Rushes

Miscanthus sinensis Maiden hair Grass

Molinia Moor Grass

Panicum virgatum Switch Grass


Beach Flowers: Garden Planning with Plants that Thrive in a Coastal Environment


Acer ginnala Amur Maple

Acer ginnala Amur Maple


Coastal Trees

Acer ginnala Amur Maple

Arbutus menziesii Pacific Madrone

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Port Orford Cedar

Chamaecyparis obtuse Hinkoki Cypress

Crataegus Hawthorn

Cupressocypraris leylandii Leyland Cypress

Ilex apuifolium English Holly

Laurus nobilis Bay Laurel

Picea sitchensis Sitka Spruce

Pinus contorta Shore Pine

Pinus mugho Mugo Pine

Pinus nigra Austrian Black Pine

Pinus ponderosa Ponderosa Pine

Pinus sylvestris Scotch Pine

Pinus thunbergiana Japanese Black Pine

Prunus Flowering Cherry

Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas Fir

Robinia Black Locust

Salix discolor/ caprea Pussy Willow

Sequoia sempervirens Coast Redwood

Thuja plicata Western Red Cedar


Shrubs That Thrive on the Coast


Abelia grandiflora Abelia

Abelia grandiflora Abelia


Abelia grandiflora Abelia

Arbutus unedo Strawberry Bush

Aucuba japonica Aucuba

Berberis Barberry

Buxus sempervirens Boxwood

Ceanothus California Lilac

Choisya Mexican Orange

Cistus Rockrose

Cotoneaster Cotoneaster

Cytisus Broom

Eleagnus Silverberry

Erica Heath

Escallonia Escallonia

Euonymus Euonymus

Garrya eliptica Silktassel

Hebe Hebe

Hydrangea Hydrangea

Ilex aquifolium English Holly

Ilex glabra Inkberry

Lonicera pileata Box Honeysuckle

Myrica californica Pacific Wax Myrtle

Potentilla Potentilla

Prunus laurocerasus English Laurel

Prunus lusitanica Portugal Laurel

Punica granatum Pomegranate

Pyracantha Pyrancantha

Rhamnus Rhamnus

Ribes Flowering Currant

Rosa rugosa Rugosa Rose

Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary

Syringa vulgaris Lilac

Taxus Yew

Vaccinium ovatum Evergreen Huckleberry

Viburnum tinus Laurestinus Viburnum

Yucca Yucca


Perennials For A Coastal Environment


Achillea Yarrow

Achillea Yarrow


Achillea Yarrow

Antennaria Pussy Toes

Arabis Rockcress

Armeria maritima Sea Thrift

Artemisia Mugwort

Bergenia Bergenia

Carex Sedge

Cerastium Snow in Summer

Coreopsis Tickseed

Dianthus Pinks

Echinops Globe Thistle

Festuca Fescue

Gaillardia Blanket Flower

Gypsophilia Baby’s Breath

Fuchsia Hardy Fuchsia

Helianthemum Rockrose

Kniphofia Red Hot Poker

Lavandula Lavender

Limonium Sea Lavender

Santolina Lavender Cotton

Sedum Sedum

Sempervivum Hens and Chicks

Stachys Lambs Ear

Thymus Thyme


Ground Covers For a Coastal Environment

Arctostaphylos Kinnikinnick

Arctostaphylos Kinnikinnick


Arctostaphylos Kinnikinnick

Ceanothus Pt. Reyes Pt. Reyes CA Lilac

Euonymus fortuneii Euonymus

Fragaria chiloensis Ornam. Strawberry

Gautheria shallon Salal

Juniperus Junipers

Lithospernum Lithodora


Drought Resistant Plants

The following is a comprehensive list of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and vines that are drought resistant.


Abies Concolor

Abies Concolor

Drought Resistant Trees

  • Abies concolor

  • Acer campestre

  • Acer ginnala

  • Aesculus

  • Ailanthus altissima

  • Arbutus unedo

  • Calocedrus decurrens

  • Catalpa

  • Cedrus deodara

  • Cedrus atlantica

  • Cercis occidentalis

  • Cornus nuttali*

  • Corylus

  • Cotinus coggyria

  • Crataegus

  • Cupressocyparis leylandii*

  • Eleagnus angustifolia

  • Ficus carica**

  • Fraxinus

  • Ginkgo biloba

  • Gleditsia triancanthos

  • Gymnocladus dioica

  • Juglans

  • Koelreuteria paniculata

  • Lithocarpus densiflorus

  • Maclura pomifera

  • Morus

  • Phellodendron amurense

  • Picea

  • Pinus

  • Platanus acerifolia

  • Pseduotsuga menziesii

  • Quercus

  • Robinia

  • Sequoiandendron gigantica

  • Sophora japonica

  • Sorbus

  • Tilia tomentosum

  • Thuja plicata

  • Umbellularia californica

  • Zelkova serrata


Drought Resistant Shrubs


Acanthus mollis

Acanthus mollis


  • Acanthus mollis

  • Amelanchier alnifolia

  • Aronia

  • Aucuba japonica

  • Berberis

  • Buxus micro jap.

  • Calycanthus occidentalis

  • Camellia japonica

  • Caryopteris clandonensis

  • Ceanothus* **

  • Cerocarpus montanus

  • Chaenomeles

  • Cistus

  • Cotinus coggyria

  • Cotoneaster

  • Cytisus

  • Deutzia

  • Eleagnus

  • Escallonia **

  • Euonymus

  • Forsythia

  • Garrya fremontii

  • Genista

  • Hamamelis

  • Hibiscus syriacus

  • Helianthemum

  • Holidiscus discolor

  • Ilex

  • Kerria japonica

  • Lagerstroemia indica**

  • Ligustrum

  • Mahonia

  • Myrica

  • Nandina

  • Osmanthus**

  • Osmarea burkwoodii

  • Philadelphus

  • Photinia

  • Prunus laurocerasus

  • Punica granatum

  • Pyracantha

  • Rhus

  • Rhamnus

  • Rosa rugosa

  • Skimmia japonica

  • Spirea

  • Symporicarpos

  • Syringa

  • Tamarix pariflora*

  • Taxus*

  • Viburnum lantana


Drought Resistant Perennials





  • Achillea

  • Agapanthus**

  • Allium

  • Antennaria rosea* **

  • Anthemis tinctoria

  • Arenaria montana

  • Artemisia*

  • Asclepias*

  • Baptisia*

  • Bergenia cordifolia

  • Centaurea gymnocarpa**

  • Centranthus rubber

  • Ceratistigma pumbaginoides

  • Convolvulus

  • Coreopsis*

  • Echinacea purpurea*

  • Echinops exaltus*

  • Erysium*

  • Gaillardia grandiflora*

  • Geranium sangiuineum

  • Gypsophilia paniculata*

  • Helenium autumnalis

  • Helleborus

  • Hemerocallis

  • Iris

  • Kniphoia uvaria*

  • Lavandula*

  • Liatris*

  • Limonium*

  • Linum

  • Lychnis*

  • Nepeta

  • Oenothera*

  • Papavera*

  • Penstemon*

  • Perovskia*

  • Phlomis*

  • Polystichmum munitum

  • Romneya*

  • Ruta*

  • Salvia officinalis*

  • Santolina*

  • Saponaria*

  • Sedum*

  • Sisyrinchium

  • Solidago

  • Thymus*

  • Tradescantia

  • Verbascum


Drought Resistant Grasses


Cortaderia selloana

Cortaderia selloana


  • Cortaderia selloana

  • Festuca ovina glauca

  • Calamagrostis

  • Miscanthus

  • Pennisetum*

  • Stipa


Drought Resistant Vines


Clematis Armandi

Clematis Armandi


  • Clematis armandi**

  • Lonicera japonica “Halliana’

  • Wisteria

*These plants will not tolerate heavy clay soils which are water-saturated in the winter.

** These plants are marginally hardy for the Northwest. They will freeze out some years.


How to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies to Your Garden

How to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies to Your Garden

Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies to your Garden is the dream of many. And for good reason. They’re peaceful, and add a sense of calm and serenity in a world that certainly could use more of it. 

And the great news is that, if you understand what you’re doing, attracting hummingbirds and attracting butterflies can easily be done. 


Hummingbird Gardens


Hummingbird gardens must offer not only the nectar filled flowers but also must be a habitat that supports their lifestyle. 

These little birds need both sun and shade, shrubs and tree branches for perching, fresh water for not only drinking but for bathing too. Oh yes, and they will need materials for nest making such as spider webs, dryer lint, or bits of leaves.



These delicate birds spend lots of energy flying, so it comes as no surprise that they feed many times each hour (3-5 times). While our flowers are blooming, there is nectar for them to sip, but once you have offered them a flower food source, you can also place hummingbird feeders in prominent locations to feed them. 


hummingbird feeder

Hummingbird Feeders


Hummingbird feeders supplement the flower nectar, especially when flowers are few. Hang them from tree branches or a carefully placed shepherd hook, high enough to keep the hummingbird safe from the neighborhood cats.



Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds


Hummingbirds love tubular shaped flowers although that shape is not absolutely required. Fragrance is not important to them, but vivid colors of red, purple, pink, orange and yellow will attract them to your garden. At our Portland Nursery, we have a large selection of flowering annuals, perennials & woody plants that will attract hummingbirds into your garden. 


Just a few to checkout


Angel Trumpet


Cape Fuschia 








Trumpet Vines




Image courtesy of birdwatchinghq.com



Butterfly Plants: Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden


Here is a thorough list of butterfly-attracting trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals.  All will grow well in the Pacific Northwest, and if you’re looking for any help with the following foliage, be sure to visit us at our Portland Nursery 



Trees that Attract Butterflies



Aesculus Hippocastanum

The following are a few examples of great trees to plant if you are interested in bringing butterflies to your garden

  • Aescules

  • Prunus

  • Salix



Shrubs that Attract Butterflies



Abelia Grandiflora

When planting shrubs in your garden, consider the following if you care to invite butterflies for a visit.


  • Abelia

  • Buddleia

  • Calycanthus occidentalis

  • Caryopteris

  • Clethera

  • Ceanothus

  • Ligustrum

  • Lonicera

  • Rhododendron

  • Salix

  • Syringa


Perennials for Attracting Butterflies


Achillea Millefolium

Achillea Millefolium

Going shopping for perennials anytime soon? Keep the following list handy.

  • Achillea

  • Allium

  • Arabis

  • Asclepias

  • Aster

  • Aubretia

  • Centhranthus

  • Chives

  • Chrysanthemum

  • Coreopsis

  • Helenium

  • Helianthus

  • Hemerocallis

  • Echinacea

  • Echinops

  • Erigeron

  • Eupatorium

  • Gaillardia

  • Lavender

  • Liatris

  • Lilium

  • Lythrum

  • Mentha

  • Monarda

  • Myosotis

  • Nepeta

  • Phlox

  • Physostegia

  • Salvia

  • Scabiosa

  • Sedum

  • Solidago

  • Rosemarinus

  • Rudbeckia

  • Verbena

  • Veronica



Annuals for Attracting Butterflies


Ageratum Corymbosum

Ageratum Corymbosum


  • Ageratum

  • Cosmos

  • Heliotrope

  • Lantana

  • Linonium

  • Lunaria

  • Marigold

  • Nicotiana

  • Petunia

  • Tithonia

  • Verbena

  • Zinnia

Growing and Caring for the Heather Flower

Growing and Caring for the Heather Flower

Calluna, the Heather Flowers

Commonly known as the Heather flower, this beautiful purple flower is scientifically known as Calluna. They’re beautiful, and a great way of adding a splash of purple to the most beautiful, sophisticated gardens.

Where do Heather Flowers Grow Best?

Heathers grow best in full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. Plants will perform best if planted in well drained acidic soil. Soil in the Willamette Valley can be improved by adding an acid planning mix to the soil prior to planting.

Planting Heather Plants

Prepare a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball. Partially fill the hole with acid planting mix or compost. The hole should be the same depth as planted by the nursery. Heathers have very shallow root systems, so be sure not to plant too deep. Score or scratch the root ball to loosen up the roots so the plant will establish easier. On an average, the heather flower should be planted 2-3 ft. apart.


Heather Plant Care

Never let the plants dry out. This is a recipe for disaster, especially for newer plantings. Water deeply at least once a week. Remove any weeds carefully. Be careful with weed killers as they easily damage the heathers and heaths as well. Mulching is beneficial in the winter months, but be sure to keep mulch away from the stems and crowns.

Pruning Heather Flowers

Pruning should be done after each flowering period or very early in the spring. Be careful not to prune too far down. There needs to be green leaves under your pruning cut or that section will not grow back. Pruning in the fall or winter will cause the plants to split and create holes.

Fertilizing Heathers

Fertilization is almost always helpful. A light application of acid-loving, slow release fertilizer in the early spring is ideal. Fertilizers should be granular and not applied to the foliage. It is best to sprinkle the fertilizers around the base of the plants about 2” from the stems. 

Where to Find a Heather Plant for Sale

If you’re lucky enough to call the Pacific Northwest your home, we can help you find heather plants for sale at our Portland Nursery and Garden Center . We look forward to working with you on your home garden project!

Planting Fruit Trees

Planting Fruit Trees

Planting Fruit Trees can be one of the most rewarding things a gardener could do for themselves. And it’s totally possible. This is meant to be a brief overview of the types of things you’ll need to know when planting fruit trees for yourself.

Choosing a Site for Fruit Trees

Fruit trees should be planted in a full sun location. Avoid planting trees in the shade or around any older trees. Fruit trees require well drained soils. It is always a good idea to amend the site with compost before planting.

When to Plant Fruit Trees

Plant fruit trees as soon as possible in late winter/ early spring.

Bare Root Trees

Soak the roots in a bucket or wheelbarrow of water and root stimulator for about a ½ hour. Dig the hole just large enough to accommodate roots. Fill the hole with water twice to check for drainage. If the hole has not drained within 12-24 hours find a better drained spot. If the native soil is heavy clay, blend one third organic soil amendment with the backfill soil. If the soil is reasonable, just use the native soil for backfill. Form a small mound of soil in the bottom of the hole to spread the roots over; making sure the graft is a couple of inches above the soil line. Fill the hole with soil. Do not put fertilizer in the hole or it may burn tender roots, or, use a mild transplant fertilizer. Check to be sure tree is no deeper than its original soil level. Make a watering basin with extra soil. Fill the basin with water mixed with root stimulator making sure the tree is well watered and no large air pockets are left around the roots. Paint the trunks with white latex paint to prevent sunscald.

Planting Potted Trees

Dig the hole twice as wide as the pot but no deeper. If the soil is heavy clay, amend with one-third organic soil amendment. Place the tree in the hole so it rests slightly above the surrounding soil level. Fill in hole with backfill, building a water basin slightly wider than the root ball around the tree. Water the tree thoroughly. Paint the trunk with white latex paint to avoid sunscald.

Fertilizing and Pest Control for Planting Fruit Trees

Best growth will be accomplished with the help of fertilizers. There are many organic options as well as conventional options. All fertilizers should be applied after leaf fall in autumn and again before bloom in the spring. Trees that are planted in the lawn may need more nitrogen than those planted in a garden bed. Generous amounts of lawn clippings or compost make a great substitute for a nitrogen fertilizer. Don’t let fertilizer touch the trunk of the tree.

There are many pests that target the fruit trees. These include insects, bacterial infections and fungi. All of these are treatable and can be treated through out the year. Please refer to Drake’s 7 Dees Nursery’s Fruit Tree Spray Schedule Handout.

Harvesting Fruit Trees

Apples and Sour Cherries are ready for harvesting when they are easily picked from the tree. Sweet Cherries, Plums, Prunes, and Peaches will all continue to ripen after harvest. European pears should be picked while they are still green and should come off the tree easily when ready. Persimmons ripen late in the fall when they become soft. Nuts fall to the ground when mature. For best quality, gather and dry walnuts

If you’re interested in growing fruit trees and happen to live in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to visit us at our Portland Nursery and Garden Center.